Another week has come and gone here in Burnham! Hard times keep hitting Sister Nott and I but I'm excited to share about the wonderful fast and testimony meeting that we had that helped me really change my attitude at this point of my mission.
This week was another rough one where Sister Nott and I and I started getting pretty frustrated and even just wanted to give up. I just kept thinking to myself "I just need a new week so I can start over." It was like I was being prepared to really have a humble mindset at this fast Sunday approached. We got to the church earlier than usual and were expecting to see the usual attendance of the Bamba family, some less active members and hopefully some investigators that we had invited. The minutes kept ticking and none of them were showing up. I thought "well that's not a huge surprise considering the week we had." We went in and sat in the front of the congregation and even with the frustration I wanted to feel, I couldn't help but be content sitting inside the church, partaking of the sacrament and feeling the sabbath spirit that can make me so happy.
Then our fast and testimony meeting started and it seemed that everyone had just as rough a week as Sister Nott and I, if not worse. Sister Escote our relief society president shared about humbling herself in tough circumstances. Then Brother James Velasco, a single adult preparing for his mission shared a tear filled testimony and scriptures in D&C 122 about overcoming trials. Before too long, after a few more testimonies along the same theme, the whole congregation seemed to be in tears. It was such a crazy feeling. Because although we all seemed to be at some of our weakest points as a ward, there was a strength we were all receiving from being together, and sharing these words with one another.
I decided to go up and share my testimony about doing good. That is the title of my email. Mabuting Gawain or "Good works". I wanted to encourage the members. They all were sharing about how they had faced difficult times, yet they continued to choose the right while amidst these trials. I got up to the pulpit and looked out to see the congregation about double in size than it was when sacrament meeting had started. The whole Bamba family was there, including Brother Bamba wearing a white shirt and tie for the first time. Tears came to my eyes before I even got to start! But I shared D&C 64:33 that says something along the lines of "Be not weary in well doing for you are laying the foundation of a great work." I wanted all of the members who were struggling to know that just by small and simple choices for good, they are laying a foundation for something great. Like Nephi, we may not know what we are laying the foundation for, but we can be confident that if we are following the commandments and teachings of our Savior, it will be great.
Then Brother Bamba went up and shared the greatest testimony I had ever heard! So sayang because I don't have anymore time to email! But I will share more about his testimony next week and the progress of their family. (Spoiler alert: they are doing soooo great!) After that meeting I literally felt like a new person. Don't be afraid to turn to your fellow members and try to gain strength from them. Or if you are feeling extra strong some days, find those that you can strengthen. That is my invitation for you all. Love you guys so sooo much! I wrote you all a letter and will be sending it today. Hope you get it soon. Hope you guys have a great week. Take care! Bye!